It was a normal august day on a Friday when we found out if our baby was a boy or girl. The excitement was rising. We were waiting patiently for the three words we wanted hear “a healthy baby” but they never came. Case wasn’t our first pregnancy, and after experiencing a loss, we honestly cared less about the gender, we just wanted a healthy baby.
I left school a little early to make the appointment, a 45 minute ultra sound that turned into almost two hours. The tech said “I can’t get him positioned correctly, I can’t seem to get all the pictures of his heart.” I was a naive, first time mom and didn’t think much of her remarks. She didn’t say anything more. Two days after we found out our baby was a boy, we also found out that he had a heart defect–a VSD, or a hole in between the bottom two chambers. My doctor ensured me that in most cases the hole closes and not to worry. She set us up with a specialist for a few weeks later. So we prayed. “Jesus, please close this hole. Jesus, please, listen to me, I need you to heal my baby. “
Those few weeks later come and I drive to the specialist a few hours away. I wait for my appointments. I’m nervous. But everything should be fine, right? I mean, we are normal people– something like this couldn’t happen to people like us… wrong. Because even though we are normal. Even though I feel like we are “good,” sometimes bad things happen to good people–and my world will shortly be shattered.
The tech does the scan. Then, the doctor comes in. I can tell by his face the news isn’t good. “Multiple defects.” He says. “Double outlet right ventricle, transposition of the great arteries, a large VSD, an ASD, a small pulmonary artery with minimal blood flow, and the valve to that pulmonary artery is barely functional.” I am stunned. I told myself I wouldn’t cry, but I feel the fiery, streaming tears race down my cheeks and fall onto my neck. I can’t hold them back. I’m by myself, David is working, and there aren’t any freaking tissues in the room. (Why the heck aren’t there any tissues?!)The tech runs to go get some. He shows me them on the screen but I can barely see. My eyes are burning and I just want him to stop. I want it to be yesterday. When I didn’t know. When my baby was just my normal baby. But it isn’t yesterday, and my days of normal are over, so I listen. I am speechless. The doctor continues “minimal quality of life (worthless),” he says. “Failure to thrive (worthless).” “Failure to grow, possibly inoperable (worthless),” he says. “Possibly a chromosomal anomaly.” Long Pause… “Considering all these things most people in your situation would choose to terminate.”
I know my worth and my child’s worth and I never doubted it but I am thinking…he believes our baby is worthless… “Mrs. Hebert, do you understand what this means? Did you hear me? Most people in your situation would choose to terminate.” I lift my head and look him the eyes. “I am sorry, but we are not most people.” (He. Has Worth.)
You. Have. Worth. You are fearfully and wonderfully made and the same God that made light from darkness, beauty from ashes and gave us an empty grave is the same God that breathed life into our precious baby and life into us all. So please, whatever your circumstance, never doubt your worth.
[Edit]- Looking back and reading these still brings tears to my eyes. Still talking about this specific day makes me emotional, even more emotional than when Case was in the OR for almost 13 hours–and I’m honestly not sure why. Maybe because I wonder how many mamas, women, children, daughters of THE KING hear this kind of news and feel as if they have no other options. How many PEOPLE hear things like this about their unborn child and have no idea it is their human right to get a second opinion. This is why I advocate about CHDs. This is why it is important to research doctors, surgeons and hospitals. And this is why I will try every day of my life to help give a voice to ones that feel little hope in shattered situations. Because even with shattered hearts, emotionally and physically, and shattered situations, there is always Hope and always WORTH.
*Original post from February 7, 2017
*While I was editing and adding this post to the blog “Heart on Fire” by citipointe Live came on so I thought I’d add it in. I had never heard the song before, but seemed fitting for this post.